By Maria-Jose Subiria
Digital marketing is growing in popularity, and its an inexpensive way for businesses to advertise themselves, said a program coordinator for Clayton State's Small Business Development Center.
"We're seeing a lot of demand with businesses, to use affordable marketing," said Allison Segal. She said the Small Business Development Center will provide a three-part, "Digital Marketing Series" on Thursday, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, and Nov. 11, from 9 a.m., to 11:30 p.m., at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, 1709 Highway 20 West, McDonough.
Segal said this is the first series of its kind the center is conducting, and it will assist participants in understanding how digital marketing can enhance business, and teach ways to use methods, such as Facebook, video and search engines.
"These courses will explain marketing methods that compliment search engine optimization, provide simple steps to creating a fan page, and how to make, as well as, edit videos," added John Shiffert, director of university relations at Clayton State University. "The three courses will provide the knowledge and skills to affordably enhance your business' exposure online."
The three courses include: "Utilizing Facebook for Business," on Thursday, Oct. 28; "Search Engine Optimization," on Nov. 4; and "Enhancing your Business with Video," on Nov. 11, said Shiffert.
Segal added that individuals interested in the "Utilizing Facebook for Business" class are still eligible to enroll for the course, on Thursday. Checks, or cash will be accepted on site, she explained. The cost of the entire series is $149, though individuals are able to purchase a single lesson for $69, she said.
Segal said interested individuals, who would like to register, should contact her, at (678) 466-5100.
According to Segal, Facebook, a social networking web site, provides its users with a free marketing tool-- an official Facebook page. By visiting Facebook's web site, www.facebook.com, business owners are able to create their own Facebook page to stay connected with customers and fans.
"Right now, there are 3.3 million people in the Atlanta area on Facebook ... That's a great way to reach out to people ... Not only is it affordable, but it's a great way, if done correctly, to increase your business and the business' reputation," she said.
Spokesman Shiffert said the interactive "Utilizing Facebook for Business" session will help participants develop their own Facebook page, and learn to create groups and events, and conduct other business on the Facebook web site.
Segal added that business owners can utilize Facebook to promote new sales or promotions. Search engine optimization, she said, is another tool that can assist businesses. Appearing in a Top 10 list of the search results on search-engine web sites, including Google, Bing and Yahoo!, can boost a business' reach, and brand.
Segal said having a web site appear on top of the results list can be done by tweaking several areas, including the key words used on a business' web site.
Shiffert said the "Search Engine Optimization" course will address ways individuals can keep their web site near the top of the search results, and will offer introductory-to-intermediate information on creating a search engine-optimized web site. Other topics will include web design considerations and other methods that compliment search engine optimization.
Finally, said Segal, video is a great way for businesses to use a visual tool to sell or promote products, by showing how a product functions, or by providing testimonials about the product.
Added Shiffert: "Almost overnight, video has transitioned from just entertainment to a business tool."